If you’d said that name to me 2 days ago, my response would have been “Who?”. Although a tech industry titan, Marissa Mayer was not all that popular until yesterday, when the 37 year old executive took over the leadership reigns at Yahoo!. Now, only 24 hours later, some things that come to my mind at the mention of her name include Google veteran, software engineer, product designer, usability expert, technology strategist, publicity craver and bully. Thank God for the internet!
I am really excited by Marissa’s appointment for a couple of reasons. Here’s three:
1. She Has Nothing To Lose: Not many people think that Marissa will succeed at turning Yahoo! around. The reason for this is that tech turnarounds are quite rare: the only ones I can think of are Apple and IBM. However, I think this is advantageous to the new CEO. If she fails, no one will be really surprised, and she would easily find another worthy pursuit (considering her professional credentials, and net worth of $300 million) . On the other hand, if she succeeds, she would have earned herself a seat in the annals of technology history, among the likes of Steve Jobs.
2. She Just Might Be Able to Pull This Off!: There’s no easy way of saying it. Marissa Mayer is in over her head. According to Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider, If she can indeed point Yahoo! in the right direction, it will be a turnaround of Steve Jobs-esque proportions (see a trend here?). That may well be true, but the lady is young, passionate, capable and incredibly smart. With the right team, ruthless execution, and a little bit of luck, she just might be able to pull it off, and bring about the return of Yahoo!.
3. She’s Pregnant!!: I’m sure you’d agree with me that we are living in exciting times when I tell you that a pregnant 30-something year old is now CEO of a Fortune 500 technology company. This news, as well as those of other female technology titans like Ginni Rometty of IBM, and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, makes me think that the ‘glass ceiling’ might just be taking some real hits this time around.
Image by Business Insider